DEAR ABBY: In recent conversations with my daughter, who is away in college, she opened up to me that she is hooking up. She introduced herself to this guy two weeks ago, and she's already having sex with him. I tried to caution her about the dangers of such relationships and how harmful they can be physically and emotionally. She sounded annoyed and said it is her body and she has a right to do whatever she pleases.
I am shocked and disappointed. She's the first person in our family to go to college. If I tell her father, he would disown her. I am beside myself. My younger daughter will soon be applying to college, and now I'm wondering whether I should allow her to go away, given her sister's behavior. How should I handle this? Should I tell her father? -- STRESSED OUT IN NEW YORK
DEAR STRESSED OUT: When you are less emotional, talk with your daughter and advise her to visit the student health center to be checked for STDs and get on a program of birth control. Your daughter is no longer a child. She is a young woman, and sexual activity among college students is not unheard of. While I agree with you that hopping into bed with someone you have known for only two weeks is premature, if she's able to maintain her grade point average, there is no reason to alarm her father. If she isn't, then bring her home.
I assume you have discussed sex and family standards with your younger daughter. If that's the case, it would be unfair to punish or restrict her because you are disappointed in her older sister.